The Black Man Is Black

In response to Moss Gropen’s piece on the recent racial uproar at UCSD (“Media Hawk,” March 11), I would like to make a quick correction. Ironically, in a paragraph where the author accuses others of “egregious journalistic failures,” he wrongly claims that “Jiggaboo Jones” was “the impresario of the Compton Cookout” (the party that started the initial outrage here in the UCSD community).

For those of you that don’t know him (and it’s better that you don’t), Mr. Jones is an African American YouTube personality. Like the blackface minstrels of old that were phenotypically black, Mr. Jones is attempting to make a living by performing demeaning stereotypes of blacks.

Contrary to Mr. Jones’s claims that he somehow organized the Compton Cookout at UCSD, the fact is that he had no hand in it. His only connection to the event is that the organizers grabbed a picture of Mr. Jones and used it in the original Facebook event invitation. Later, as the media picked up on the ordeal and identified him as the man in the picture, Mr. Jones began to claim after the fact that he was the creative author of the “cookout.” This was purely an attempt to use the media spotlight to his advantage and try to get some name recognition. Unfortunately, some journalists fell for it.

Mr. Gropen could have known this if he had simply interviewed any of the people who organized or attended the event. Instead, he relied on Mr. Jones’s own declarations.

Since Mr. Gropen’s article is all about media integrity in their coverage of UCSD’s current racial emergency, I urge the editors to print a correction to the story in your next issue.

  • Jose Fuste
  • via email

KKKaos

“Arguably, the missing details — omitted intentionally, it appears — constitute an even more egregious journalistic failure than the (somewhat) subtler shading” — Moss Gropen (“Media Hawk,” March 11)

Gropen, you should “turn on the heat” and do some fact-checking to “shed some [real] light.”

First, you forgot to mention that when the KKKoala went on air that morning — a rogue broadcast that was unsanctioned by the student-run TV (SRTV) — besides defending their racist rhetoric and actions, the KKKoala also stated that the black student population at UCSD was a bunch of “ungrateful NIGGERS.” Also, omitted from your account of the broadcast was that on the floor of the SRTV set, after the building was inspected, a note was found that said “Compton Lynching.” Now, these omissions might avail a simple defense; however, the KKKoala (as a publicly funded organization) is creating an environment of fear and loathing at UCSD, and this hate has quickly shifted to other UC campuses (i.e., UCD, UCI). Certainly, physical violence has not been a factor at UCSD. However, for the students of color that do feel real pain, WWIII is an understatement.

Second, the “laundry” list of demands that were conceded by Chancellor Fox, i.e., the “free tutoring,” are part of UCSD’s commitment to diversify. Simply stated, the Black Student Union demands are to have the same access to educational programs that other students have, like the free tutoring that student athletes receive for being good at something that has nothing to do with academia. To be more precise, free tutoring is part of many higher institutions’ commitment to student access, success, and retention. These programs are funded mostly (but not only) through student fees — fees that I pay as a student at UCSD — as are athletic departments/programs at most public institutions. Since UCSD is a public institution, it must be responsible for maintaining an equitable and just educational system.

Finally, in your view, because “Jiggaboo Jones” is black, the “Compton Cookout” cannot be held as what it truly was, a racist minstrel party. The rhetoric of a post-Obama/post-racial society is simply far from the truth. A simple look at Tea Baggers would suffice. For Jones’s predecessors, i.e., black performers during the height of minstrel shows in the late 1800s, minstrelsy was the only avenue for black performers to enter “Hollywood” life. However, the fact that blacks entertained white audiences in double black face does not erase, minimize, or legitimize the material and discursive structures of black oppression. In its historical legacy, “Jiggaboo Jones” is no exception to this rule.

  • Humberto
  • via email

Thieves Are My Pals

I wish the Reader were able to exude a little more self-respect. Seriously, who is in charge of choosing to print a cover story about a young girl who chooses to defend her friend’s criminal behavior (“Filipino Rules,” March 4)? Auto theft? Come on! I have done a lot of stupid things in my life, but hanging out with thieves has never been one of them. Who does that? Who sits in a car with someone as they steal it? And then defends the behavior, eager to have a face-to-face meeting with the criminal and her parents. Gee, I wonder why the parents gave him a hard time when they saw him. No mention of a job or a plan for the future for this boy! You know what they call that here in America? Trashy. No class. No ethnic delineation required.

Aside from a reference to a family value involving visiting the parents’ homeland, the author’s “Filipino” household is not different in any significant way — that I was able to decipher within the context of this article — from the majority of households in San Diego. As such, all this author has accomplished — along with the Reader, by association — is encouraging blatant racism where none is needed. Honestly, what type of ethnicity doesn’t want the best for their children? Who does want their children to hang out with thieves? Please realize that all parents want their children to “do well in school, graduate from college, get a good job.” This article does nothing more than encourage ethnic divides where really there aren’t any. Big deal your dad speaks with an accent. Get over it. Grow up.

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